Zero Energy Home Built of Recycled Wood


Dwell Development is constructing a home in Seattle that boasts of having a host of sustainable features, including being built mostly out of recycled and reclaimed materials. They are seeking the Built Green Emerald Star certification for it, and getting it would make this the first home in Seattle to obtain it.

The home measures 2,218 sq ft (206 sq m). It features a rooftop mounted 6.6 kW photovoltaic array, which is capable of producing all the energy the home needs. To further increase the energy efficiency of the home, the roof and window placement were configured to maximize solar gain without sacrificing the aesthetics of the design. The home is seeking a HERS Score of 0 or lower to confirm its intended zero energy status, which the builders are certain will be the case.


The home is also equipped with a heat recovery ventilation system, which expels stale air from the house and draws in fresh air. This system is also used to maintain a comfortable interior temperature. The home also features an efficient hot water heat pump, which uses only 1 kW of energy to generate 4.5 kW of heat. According to Dwell, this is 78 percent less energy usage in comparison to classic hot water systems.




The house also has an airtight seal, achieved by adequate insulation and wood-framed windows and doors. This seal minimizes thermal and sound leaks. On blower door tests the home got a score of 1.17 ACH 50. To achieve an Emerald Star certification this score needs to be below 2.4 ACH 50.



The frame of the home is made of FSC-certified timber, while the exterior paneling is made of reclaimed Douglas fir. For the roof paneling they used steel reclaimed from a cannery in Willamette Valley, Oregon, and this roof also constitutes a rainscreen. All the cabinets, countertops and tile, are made from recycled materials by local craftsmen.



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